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Creating a safe and comfortable learning environment

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To create a safe and comfortable learning environment for students, the government in recent years has, in addition to implementing and improving education policies, continued to upgrade old equipment and retrofit buildings for seismic resistance at public high schools and below, while increasing food subsidies and promoting a central kitchen program to allow students at rural and urban schools to enjoy lunches of equal quality. The government has also achieved its goal to install air conditioning in every classroom and power generation equipment at every school before the summer of 2022, and is now implementing a program to provide internet access for every classroom and tablet access for every student, with priority for digital technologies given to rural schools. All of these efforts will help narrow the rural-urban gap and provide fair and quality education for all.

Key measures

■ Retrofit school buildings for seismic resistance at public high schools and below: A total of 1,948 public elementary and junior high school buildings were retrofitted or demolished and rebuilt from 2017 to 2019. An additional 1,488 public school buildings at the high school level and below are expected to be retrofitted or demolished to be rebuilt from 2020 to 2022, improving seismic resistance of school buildings across the nation.

■ Central kitchen program for remote area schools: The government is offering higher subsidies to remote area schools for using domestically produced, traceable lunch ingredients, and is also subsidizing the construction of new central kitchens. For rural schools that do not yet have central kitchen services, the government has established a joint food procurement mechanism, and is planning overall personnel needed for central kitchens, such as kitchen workers, nutritionists and delivery drivers. The government is also subsidizing the salaries of kitchen staff and the transportation of raw and cooked foods, so that school meal budgets can be primarily spent on the food itself. This will entitle all schoolchildren in rural areas to the same healthy, filling and delicious meals as their urban peers.

■ Air conditioning in every classroom, power generation at every school: Using government subsidies, 3,307 elementary and junior high schools installed air conditioning in every classroom before the summer of 2022. Schools have also installed solar power panels to provide electricity generation capabilities, creating a safe, comfortable and sustainable school environment.

■ Internet access for every classroom, tablet access for every student: The government will provide additional funding of NT$20 billion (US$666.8 million) from 2022 to 2025 to develop digital learning content, promote mobile devices and internet access, and use big data analytics to improve education. These efforts will expand software and hardware for digital instruction and learning, enhance wireless classroom environments, and improve digital skills training for teachers. In particular, one tablet will be supplied to each student attending a rural school. These devices and digital content will be available for use in classroom instruction once the school semester begins in September 2022, opening up a new era for digital learning.

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